Hirsutism is a condition that is characterized by the growth of excessively coarse hair in a pattern that is otherwise normal just for men. The areas that are usually affected include the stomach, chin, chest, upper lip, stomach, and back. Hirsutism leads to thick and dark hair in areas that are otherwise covered with a very mild light-colored fuzz. The condition is caused by the exposure of the hair follicles to a very high level of the male hormone known as androgen present in the bloodstream. Hirsutism can have a negative impact as it could cause an emotional burden which drives one to have low self-esteem and a disrupted body image.
The condition can be treated using different treatment methods. It typically involves the use of medical therapies and self-care that help manage the growth of the hair. Some of the commonly used forms of treatment include:
- Medication – The effects of medication can take up to six months before they are noticeable. The medications will include oral contraceptives. These contraceptives contain estrogen or progestin that aid in treating the condition triggered by androgen production. Antiandrogens work by disrupting the connection of the androgens with the receptors in the body. The other kind of medication will include topical creams that specifically created the condition of excessive facial hair in women. It involves the direct application of the cream on the affected area and the same slows the hair growth. Medication can involve side-effects which include nausea, headache, dizziness, and abdominal pain.
- Laser therapy – Laser therapy is a cosmetic method that is used to reduce and remove the growth of hair. The process involves the use of a high concentration of light or laser that is passed over the affected areas of the skin. This, in turn, damages the hair follicles and prevents growth. Laser therapy may have to be conducted over several sessions and is an expensive method. It also comes with the risk of burning and discoloration the skin.
- Bleaching – For people who do not wish to remove unwanted hair growth caused by hirsutism, bleaching is another alternative. This technique is used to bleach the color of the hair and reduces visibility. However, it can cause a small degree of skin irritation, especially among people who have very sensitive skin. Bleaching may also not work for people who have dark or tanned skin since it can make the bleached hair stand out.
- Waxing – Waxing is a common method that is used for the temporary removal of unwanted hair. The method involves the application of warm or cold wax on the on the skin with unwanted hair and upon hardening, it is pulled with a strip of fabric known as a waxing strip. This aids in removing the hair much faster but can be painful for a brief time. It also causes redness and irritation in the moment and immediately after.
- Chemical depilatories – Chemical depilatories are commonly available in the form of lotions, creams or gels. These products must be spread over the skin and work through successfully breaking the hair shaft protein structure. However, since there are several chemicals employed in these products, there may not go down well with individuals who are at the risk of allergic reactions.